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Looking For A Definitive Place
St. Joseph Calasanz
Lay Fraternity
Message Board

The Coadjutor Archbishop of Cebu, Archbishop Manuel S. Salvador, on July 20 accompanies them to see a place in Consolacion, 15 km on the northern part of Cebu City, where they want to build a new church. It could be built a good house: a seminary. He offers himself to talk to the Archbishop of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, if they are interested in taking care of the Parish. But it is too far from Cebu and the traffic is very heavy during the rush hours; the candidates have to go everyday to study Philosophy to the city. Later on, he accompanies them to visit other places in Cebu City, but it seems that they are not convenient for us.


In the meantime, the Fathers take actively part in the priestly life of the Diocese, taking part in celebrations, retreats, etc. It is a good manner to know them and to be known by them, and in that way are open the ways for other parishes.


At the beginning of September, Fr. Rafael shows his desire of going to Davao City for six months to a Cebuano Language. In this way, he plans to dedicate completely to the study of the language, a thing he cannot do in Cebu City. On September 9, he goes to the Maryknoll School in Davao. Frs. Jesus and Imanol continue studying in Cebu, at the school language.


Fr. Jesus starts a fixed activity, asked by the responsible of the University of Cebu: he becomes a part time chaplain with the obligation of saying Mass twice a week. Fr. Jesus accepts it gladly, since it is going to allow him the meeting with boys who might have religious vocation, at least he thinks so. Anyway, he would have accepted that even gratis, but if besides that they pay him, and rather well


Fr. Imanol is busy, in the meantime, with the constitution of the legal association of the Piarist Fathers-Escolapios Corporation. It will allow us to have here our normal activities. According to the law, it is necessary this type of association that should be formed, with a majority of Filipino Citizens; therefore, it is asked the collaboration of M. Estrella Bordalba, a native Piarist Sister, Fr. Buñao, OAR, about whom we have already talked about and Mr. Juan Yu, a lay person, a very good friend of the Piarist Sisters and that he becomes like a member of the Community, in such a way that in 1998 we decided to ask for him the Piarist Friendship Letter, showing him in this way our gratitude.  


From time to time, some real state agent comes offering new places. In reality, now they have other priorities. Since they have solved the problem of the house, they leave the time goes by. Besides that, no one of the places they have visited was really good for them, for one reason or another. They visit places in Mandaue, Talamban, Tabunok, Talisay, Guadalupe... Fr. Imanol says that he visited more than one hundred places and that he himself could become a real state agent or broker. In October, they see a lot in Gabutan Road, in Guadalupe. They like it very much. They do not buy it because of the hesitation, at the last moment, of the owner. Actually, the Piarist Sisters will be the ones to buy it in 1999 for their formation house.


On November 12, at last, they visit the definitive place, in Andres Abellana Extension, Guadalupe, Cebu City. It has around 4500 m² and an ample building that was before a factory for products derived from mango-fruits, and it can be remodeled in living quarters without much expense. After they had learned from experiences of the past, they take the proper inspections and take all the legal measures. The ground is not completely clean: in some part it has been occupied and illegally built, but it seems that this will not be a big obstacle. On December 3, the selling-buying contract is signed, and Fr. Rafael goes to sleep in the house. On the same day, Fr. Imanol goes to the office of Architect Espina and proposes her to make a project of remodeling the building. Architect Filna Espina enters in the project. She will become a friend and architect of future projects.


The community starts the transfer on December 4. During more than a year, they will live within the hindrances of the works of adaptation. Nevertheless, they know that they are at home, forever.


The works start very soon: first, the building of fences surrounding the property, specially a solid one by the Guadalupe River. At the beginning of May the works of remodeling the interior of the house start, that will last until Christmas. On January 16, 1998, Cardinal Vidal blesses the house and installs the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel.  Besides that, he blesses the first stone for the Cultural Center. It is a date to be remembered.


After some months of calm, Architect Filna Espina presents the works for the Cultural Center and the Novitiate, following the received instructions. She proposes us to give the work to Llama Construction, with a fixed budget, and we accept it so that we will not go on controlling everything during many months. The works start in June. The fence around is completely enclosed. The Cultural Center is financed, in practice, with the help from Government of Navarra, gotten through Navarra SETEM and from Manos Unidas, both from Spain. At the end of the year it is almost completely finished. Actually, the first Christmas Eve Mass for the people around is celebrated in the Center and the novices transfer their living quarters to the novitiate in January. Llama Constructions is asked, also, to construct a kiosk in the garden and they continue the work until February of 1999. On the 22 of March, with a feast, we conclude the works of the house. 

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